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Tuesday July 14, 2020 – The Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta has changed its tune on the demolition of posh houses in Langata in its efforts to reclaim grabbed Ngong Forest land.
This comes even as the Government repossessed land in Ruai that allegedly belonged to Deputy President William Ruto.
Speaking yesterday, Environment CS Keriako Tobiko stated that there was room for negotiation with the land grabbers.
Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Environment, Tobiko maintained that the process will proceed but the Government was willing to negotiate with the affected homeowners to seek a compromise.
“Let us agree on the facts first, that the titles are invalid, then negotiate on terms and conditions on the way out.”
“At no time did we say that we are going to demolish the houses.”
“We have no intention to do that,” Tobiko stated.
He further noted that the Ministry will review lease agreements and issue new ones noting that the gazette notice issued by the then-Environment Minister Francis Lotodo in 1998 was illegal as it showed that the 132-acre section of the forest ended up in the hands of powerful individuals.
“You cannot excise forest land which is public property and give it to private individuals.”
“The law states that any part of de-gazetted forest land must be used for public activity or amenity,” he stated.
Tobiko noted that the Ngong Forest, in 1932, covered about 7,000 acres out of which only less than 1,000 acres are left.
Earlier on, while touring the forest, Tobiko explained that, if any resident failed to leave within the stipulated time, the Government will begin fencing off the area connecting the Nairobi National Park with Ngong Forest and release wild animals to roam free.
Some of the affected estates include the Sun Valley Estate Phase I, Sun Valley Phase II, Sun Valley Phase III, KMA Lang’ata Estate, and Lang’ata Place.
Others are Lang’ata View Apartments, Royal Park, Forest View, Shalom Estate, the Bomas of Kenya, Rowallan Scouts Camp, and St Mary’s Apartment.
The Kenyan DAILY POST